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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is more of a musing question than anything. I have seen that a lot of people here have multiple GSD's. I have not had a ton of experience with them, as I am just in the process of getting my second as my first passed away last year. One of the things I love about these dogs is how they bond to their person. My dog was MY dog, he loved the family, but I was his. Experiencing this it makes me wonder how it is having multiple GSDs. Is the bond less strong with the other dogs? Do they bond more to each other? Being born on a farm where we had dogs as pets that roamed (please let's not get caught up on this fact) as did our neighbors dog we had a saying... you have one dog you have a whole dog, you have two dogs you have half a dog, and you have three and you have no dog. Obviously these dogs were more family, hunting, all around companions. They did not exactly have their person. They were loved and taken care of, but did not need that person like GSDs do. Are multiple German Shepherds different?

Like I said, I have no intention of having more than one at the present time, maybe several years down the road when my puppy (who comes home in 5 weeks!!) is grown up. This is just something I have been thinking about and am curious as to what you all have to say.
 

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My 10 year old is 100% bonded to me. My 8 month old loves everyone but adores my hubby (even though I do all of the work with her). It is completely possible to bond with all of your dogs.
 

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We have 2 and I don't feel like they have their own "pack" or are bonded to each other more than they are to us. I feel like my wife and I each have a dog. Gunnar is "hers" and Cassie is "mine", but it's not like they don't each listen to either of us.

One of the most important things with multiple dogs (imo) is to make sure you get seperate time with them. I play/train with each dog seperately.
I only have 2 dogs and I know there are a lot of people have more dogs, so I'm sure you'll get a lot of feedback.
 

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I have nine GSDs. Two are five, two are four, one is three, two are two, one is eighteen months, and one is almost a year.

They do not all stay right by my side all the time, that would be insane. All but the eleven month old is totally and completely bonded to me. I have trained them, I spend time with them, play with them, work on them (cut all their toenails today), and respect each of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. some are more athletic -- taught them to run along with my bike, and take them to agility. some are more into obedience, some are more quite, one prefers the home life -- titled her, and did a CGC with her, but she is done now.

But it is different than having just one, or even two. For one thing, when they are outside in their kennels, they do not carry on in loneliness. I think with the other dogs there, they do not feel lonely, like dogs do who are shunted to a back yard chain or kennel all by themselves.

But I have to keep on top of them too. Some of the bitches do not like others of them. So I have to know who can be housed next to whom, and who better not be turned out with whom.

I think I have a good bond with all of them because of all the training I did, one on one with them in dog classes, and because I completely trust them and love them.
 

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I am and one on one person. I am that way with my freinds, I am that way with my dogs, specially now that my pup is growing up. Usually I am with one of the dogs and the other is outside, if for wathever reason or when I am not home they are both outside they are not together, they have each a yard for each one, or one or both may be in an outside kennel. I let them play some time together, but they do not live together because I want the bond with me to be the stronger one. I may relax a bit once Akela be older, but I don't think that much.

BTW, I raise them with IPO or other kind of work in mind, which is the reason why I have dogs in the first place. I don't think pet people need to be as strict as I am. I also like to have 2 dogs, maybe a third once the older retires, but I don't see myself owning more dogs than that because I wouldn't own more dogs than what I can work.
 

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Rocky and Cash's world revolved around me. They liked each other, and loved their dad but I was/am their life. Now Cash is gone but it's still the same with Rocky. At 10 weeks old, Kopper is all about Kopper but he's already starting to form a strong attachment to me, not so much to Rocky.

Basically you get out what you put in with these dogs. If you let them roam like the farm dogs you're describing then they'll attach most strongly to each other. If you make yourself the most interesting and exciting thing in the world. . . you'll be their world. No matter how many you have.
 

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I currently only have one shepherd and I must say I prefer it that way. When I had two the female(Jamie) was obsessed with my male(Victor). Now that I only have her she has become better bonded to me and hubby. I am scared to bring another GSD into my household because I am afraid she will become obsessed with him/her. Her obsession with Victor was so intense I had to tether her to me. I know that many members here have more than one GSD at a time and my hats off to you. I know that Jamie's obsessive behavior couldn't have been normal. She only did it to Victor. I would spend all my time with her, train her separately, special time with just her and she just always had to be right on Victor biting his sides and back. He literally couldn't move or play ball unless she was tethered. Now with her by herself she is listening exceptionally, able to focus,do her commands,playing being a normal happy puppy. So to answer your question just one GSD at a time for me.
 

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I think I got lucky with my two. They get along great with each other, but at the same time aren't super attached to each other. They'll play a bit but for the most part they ignore each other. Both are pretty attached to me, but i'm the only one that takes care of them.. my roommates will occasionally let them outside. Noire is enjoying her retirement though, and Odin and I train daily and 3x a week we work with trainers, so him and I spend a lot of time together.

I think as long as you make time to spend individually with each dog, and give the dogs time away from each other it's not too big of an issue. I've normally had at least 2 dogs at a time without problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the responses so far you guys! If I ever have more than one, they would both me MY dogs, farm dogs are one thing, but there is never any doubt about who is mine. :) It is really interesting to see all of the different choices people have made about how many they have with them. I think in some ways I am more like Catu, that is how I am pretty much with everything. I have a few really close friends, but am a strongly attached person. I'm not sure how I would do with lots of dogs! (I would love to bring every big dog home with me from the shelters, but would want them to love ME! :)) Maybe one day I will decide to add another dog, but that would be down the road. Although I have to admit I have decided it would be fun to add a Luger and or a Magnum to my Glock that is coming home in 5 weeks... ;)
 

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I was concerned about that myself....and now I have four dogs, one is a GSD. Turns out they are all bonded to me in one big group now and they aren't bored or alone if I'm not around. As I write this, GSD is on the left, old lady on the right, one under the desk and one behind me in the chair. Like someone suggested, I do spend time training with them separately as well. :)
 

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I have a GSD and a GSD mix, but I'll chime in anyway. My husband and I split the dog care duties evenly, and we are both home with the dogs all day, every day. We got the dogs as puppies three weeks apart, and they are very close in age. Because of this, we were very careful to keep them separate for most of the day, limiting their time together to just an hour or so each day. So they love playing with each other, but have not just bonded to each other and not us.

I don't think either dog has a "favorite" between my husband and me. And I would totally admit it if the dogs preferred my husband to me, but I really don't think they prefer either one of us. They are definitely happiest when we are all home together, but they are not stressed or upset if only one of us is home with them.
 

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One of the things I love about these dogs is how they bond to their person. My dog was MY dog, he loved the family, but I was his. Experiencing this it makes me wonder how it is having multiple GSDs. Is the bond less strong with the other dogs? Do they bond more to each other? Are multiple German Shepherds different?
I suspect this strong bond GSDs have to their person a part of the reason the breed tends to be competitive with other same sex dogs. I think given a choice most GSDs would be happiest as an only dog or as one of two, opposite sex dogs. That doesn't mean people shouldn't have multiple GSDs but if you have multiple same sex GSDs, there is a risk of them not getting along. In general, it is best to have some spacing between dogs if you are going to have more than one. Getting two young dogs or puppies very close together can result in the dogs becoming more dog than human oriented.
 

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Its very clear both dogs are bonded primarily to me. My male is more adventurous.. will go hangout with the roommates sometimes. My female is still velcro-puppy
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I suspect this strong bond GSDs have to their person a part of the reason the breed tends to be competitive with other same sex dogs. I think given a choice most GSDs would be happiest as an only dog or as one of two, opposite sex dogs. That doesn't mean people shouldn't have multiple GSDs but if you have multiple same sex GSDs, there is a risk of them not getting along. In general, it is best to have some spacing between dogs if you are going to have more than one. Getting two young dogs or puppies very close together can result in the dogs becoming more dog than human oriented.
I have to say that I tend to lean more toward this sentiment. Obviously for lots of people it works to have many GSDs at one time.
 

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I only have one pure GSD at the moment, my other two have GSD in them ( Daisy is an Alaskan husky, her line has GSD in it, its not only been told to me by the previous owner, but its obvious by her look, and dakota is lab,gsd, something big.) I think that if the dog is going to bond with you, and you put time and effort into them, they will bond with you, regardless of how many dogs you have. I don't get to see dakota and daisy as much as I would like ( and as much and I have in the past because I am in college and they live about 200miles away with my family. I do however get to live with my pure gsd, Ditto. I can definitely see how not being there to put in the time with the other two has decreased our bond, but they still love me and when I do see them the bond comes back easily. Ditto doesn't have any jealousy when I spend time with them, but Daisy gets a bit jealous if I spend time with any other dog. I guess what Im getting at is if you put the time in and the dog has the right personality, they will bond with you, regardless of how many dogs you have-- just make sure you have time for all the dogs you have, or some may feel left out and be less bonded with you.
 

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I had three at once and bonded with each of them differently -- two were females, and they were fine. Morgan used to hog the hallway outside of my bedroom (and she OWNED that area), and Jasmine would get by her by paying the toll of kissing her nose then hopping by into the bedroom, and all was o.k. My boy Scout is a very distant boy with some lifetime issues, but depends deeply on me and the security I provide him. Layla is the "in your face" kind of dog who is bonded to both me and my husband.
 

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I don't have a purebred GSD and never have had one of my own, but my mix girl is so loyal to me. She loves people in general really(The Aussie shows through in that respect) but she has take a roll of protector to me recently, or at least is trying. ~lol~ She's clearly bonded to me, as are my other dogs, because I take the time and work with them and get individual time with each. And I love it this way. I couldn't imagine not having multiple dogs.
 
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